Friday, November 9, 2007

The pit of despair

Alright, I'm taking a short break from life to gather up some long overdue blogging bits and promised photos of my exploits in the bathroom. That doesn't sound exactly right, but you get the idea, right? Well, the day before starting the bathroom I built an oak filing cabinet and drank a bottle of wine. I forgot about this until just now when I saw this photo:

As I said, the next day I began stripping the one hundred year old horsehair plaster from the wood lath, along with various other layers of paint, wallpaper, and laminate board. One hundred years is a long time and shit can really accumulate on walls, floors and ceilings over a century.

Gutting the room while keeping it completely functional for the two girls made things a little tough, what with cleaning up the job site every twenty minutes so SOMEBODY could pee

and interesting when you find things like certain fixtures hanging out in space for a few days.

And a long-boarded up window!

And wires laid ACROSS the suds, secured by bent-over, rusty nails...

And the fact that scale and other unmentionables have clogged your pipes so bad that...

When you touch one with even one finger, it splits like an overripe fucking tomato.

Oh, and look! The tiny spot of rotten floor has actually spread from under the tub all the way to New Mexico:)

Happy, happy thoughts as the six-day deadline looms awfully big in the window (and I don't have to tell you we're all getting a little tired up here). Sorry, I fall into Jim Lovell mode when dealing with disasters. Strap a ticking time-bomb to my chest and I'll start quoting Jim like Alan Shepard at an Apollo 14 party after too many glasses of champagne.

So, here I am after my first 36 hour shift in the pit of despair-

I was obviously not happy, or coherent, but I did something strange, a sort of foretelling. Inexplicably, I took a picture of my yet, undamaged left hand. W.T,F?

After a short nap to shake the cobwebs out of my ears, I re-built one of the walls and added a sill to nail the floor to, since it was hanging in space, with no joists under it. You can see the sistered wall studs and the sill, along with the corner of my basement, old plumbing, the top of the water heater and a lot of dust and debris.

It was right about here that I began my somewhat foolish 56 hour shift in order to make crew-x in 4 days hence. Bad move, as things get real fuzzy and my left hand disintegrates.

From looking at these photos for the first time, I can see I took about 250 photos during the infamous 56 hour shift. Most of them don't make any sense and I'm sure I don't want to know what I was thinking while shooting shots of joist pockets, piles of rotten wood and my dog coming to inspect the hole to the basement that was now my bathroom, but I can see from this self-portrait that I was in pretty bad shape. This was only 30 hours into the 56...

At 40 hours, I gained my second wind and still retained my sense of humor...

And my sense of decor, putting up a LP original before drywall..

All in all, it was a good shift. I destroyed my hand, started smoking again, lost about 10 pounds, put in a sub floor, wiring, an exhaust fan, a vent stack, insulation, vapor barrier and drywalled the ceiling and one wall. Not bad for a one-armed man with no sleep. Near the end, Mr. Bud showed up to finish the drywall, I drove to the bar for pizza, taking pictures while driving after going about 55 hours with no sleep
(asshat) and then passed out on the couch.

Since then, the bathroom has progressed, slowly. Very slowly. It should be complete sometime in 2009.


Maeve said...

OMG! Beautiful green trees!
And LOOK! There isn't fifty thousand cars on the road!

Freddie said...

Wow. I'll bet when you're done the bathroom's gonna look as great as that oak filing cabinet.

Oh, and this? "Oh, and look! The tiny spot of rotten floor has actually spread from under the tub all the way to New Mexico:)" Cracked me up!

Good to see you back.

Macoosh said...

you'll get it done. eventually. :) glad you have you's your hand doing?

The Pirate said...

My hand is getting better, but still goes numb and is really weak. Can't use much more than a damn toothbrush with it:(

Mr. Bud said...

indeedy my question is this.
when you went to get pizza your left was dead/useless. the speed limit is 55, as so stated. if you were photographing with your right hand... how was the truck being kept on the road? hmmmm.

yeah, good thing there arn't any other cars on the road....
and wheres your permit..
and did you tell the tax asseser of the improvements?... hmmmm.
ya outlaw.